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Iran Judiciary chief sets up page, Instagram removes it immediately

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An image of the Instagram page of Iran’s newly appointed Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, which was removed by the social media network a day after it was set up.

US social media network Instagram has removed the page of Iran’s newly appointed Judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei for unspecified reasons, only a day after the page was set up.

Mohseni-Ejei’s page was set up on Wednesday on the occasion of Eid al-Ghadir, the day when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) as his successor and Muslims’ next leader, in order to provide a direct communication line between the Judiciary chief and the Iranian people.

However, the page was removed on Thursday by the social media network without providing a reason for the move, in what observers denounced as an attack against freedom of speech.

In a statement, the Judiciary’s Media Center said efforts have already begun to find out the reason behind the move and to restore the page.

“Efforts will definitely be made to re-establish this way of communicating with people via cyberspace. Also, [Ejei’s] other pages on other social networks will soon start working for direct communication with people,” the statement added.

Early last year, after the US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Instagram embarked on a large-scale crackdown on posts that voiced support for the popular commander as Iranians were grieving his martyrdom.

It also deleted accounts of numerous Iranians who had been using the platform to communicate their devastation at the Donald Trump-ordered assassination of General Soleimani, who had played a key role in defeating the Daesh terrorist group in the region.

Dozens of Iranian journalists reported at the time that their accounts had been suspended after posting pictures of General Soleimani.

A number of Iran-based news agencies, including Tasnim news agency and the Iran newspaper, also had their accounts removed entirely, in what the International Federation of Journalists slammed as an “immediate threat” to freedom of information in Iran.

In recent years, Instagram and its parent company Facebook as well as Twitter, Youtube and other platforms have removed accounts of Iranian news agencies, including those of Press TV, countless times.

In spite of their claim to champion freedom of speech across the globe, the US-based social media networks have repeatedly removed, restricted and banned the accounts of Iranian officials or deleted their posts.

Earlier this year, the same social media networks kicked Trump out of their platforms over his incendiary remarks that sparked the US Capitol attack. However, they often give voice to hate speech and calls for acts of sabotage elsewhere, especially Iran and other independent nations.

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